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Arnautovic hits hat-trick in Bremen romp
Marko Arnautovic hit a hat-trick as Werder Bremen beat Hoffenheim 4-1 on Sunday to close in on the Europa League spots, a day after Bayern Munich drew with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga's star clash of the weekend.
Bremen jumped ahead 2-0 in the first half hour with goals by Sebastian Proedl in the 21st minute and Arnautovic eight minutes later.
Bremen missed a number of chances to make it 3-0 before Sejad Salihovic pulled a goal back for Hoffenheim in the 50th minute.
But Austrian striker Arnautovic curled in a free-kick in the 73rd minute and struck again eight minutes later.
Bremen now have 21 points and are in eighth place -- two points from a European spot -- while Hoffenheim, on 12 points, remain rooted in the relegation zone.
"We dominated the game in the first half but struggled to find our way in the second half. Then we made it 3-1 and that was the game," said Arnautovic.
Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf added: "We want to see goals from Marko. Now he needs to continue doing that."
Also Sunday, Wolfsburg and Hamburg split the spoils in a 1-1 draw as Maximilian Beister gave Hamburg the lead after 26 minutes before Simon Kjaer equalised in the 69th.
On Saturday, Bayern and defending champions Dortmund played out a high-quality 1-1 draw as Bayern stayed 11 points ahead of their third-placed rivals on 38 points and eight points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen.
Munich, who at least snapped their four-game losing streak to Dortmund, went ahead in the 67th minute through Toni Kroos before Mario Goetze equalised in the 74th minute.
"I would swap the goal for a victory," said Kroos. "I think we did enough to get the victory, and we deserved to win."
Bayern had a series of chances in the final five minutes but Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller pulled off a number of fine saves.
"I think we could have taken another point. But we are satisfied with the one point. The championship is not decided. We saw today that we can keep track with this team," said Weidenfeller.
Bayer Leverkusen did just enough to beat Nuremberg 1-0 as Stefan Kiessling hit the only goal in the 37th minute for the team's fourth straight victory.
"We have to remain calm and happy that we have a little streak," said Kiessling, who has scored nine goals this season.
"It's a nice moment but we have a lot of important games ahead of us and we don't want to think about Bayern. We have to worry about ourselves, and that's it."
Schalke continued their struggles with a 1-1 at home against Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Timo Hildebrand replaced Lars Unnerstall as Schalke's keeper and looked less than impressive on Igor de Camargo's goal for Gladbach in the 62nd minute. Julian Draxler equalised for Schalke in the 85th minute.
"We were relieved to have at least picked up the point. If we had lost things would have been bad here," said Draxler.
Fourth-placed Schalke, however, have not won in four games and are on 25 points.
Adam Szalai's goal in the 89th minute gave 10-man Mainz a 2-1 victory at home over Hannover in a battle of teams fighting for European spots.
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